Safe use of IT
The purpose of this website is to make people aware of the dangers that come with the use of information and communication technologies.
However, it also offers advice, methods and means to use IT in a safe way.
Use it to your advantage!
Computers and communication networks have become a vital part of today's society. Everyone encounters, at work and at home, computers, which are usually connected to the internet. Critical parts of business rely heavily on the IT infrastructure. It would be quite reasonable to ask how safe all of this is. What dangers are there, how vulnerable are we, both individually and in a work context? What should we do - or avoid doing - in order to use IT facilities in a safe way?
Not following recommendations regarding security doesn't only have consequences for the individual. Because all workplaces and servers on the campus are conencted, an infected PC can cause large problems for other workplaces and servers. A virus can generate so much network traffic that, for example, the Exchange servers become unreachable, so Outlook no longer functions. Nobody wants to be to blame for such a thing. Another reason to be careful when using IT facilities.
Stories about security breaches, and the sometimes catastrophic economic damage caused by them, appear in the media almost on a daily basis. Often, these stories tell of large scale attacks by the latest computer viruses that can paralyze the entire network of a large company, or of hackers who have penetrated the network of a bank, or of the insecure settings on the wireless network of, for example, a hospital.
However, the abuse of IT can also harm people individually. More and more often, criminals try to collect personal information, such as login passwords, credit card details or identity details, by sending fake e-mails (phishing). This can be private or business information. There can be very unpleasant consequences if somebody else can pretend to be you and act in your name.
It will be clear that handling IT facilities in a safe way is a matter that concerns everyone. If you are not sufficiently aware of the dangers and of the measures you can take to avoid them, you may be harmed badly, both privately and at work, even disregarding the possible damage to the image of a company or institution that results from a successful digital attack or theft.
Ir. M.J.M. van Weert
President Security Platform TU/e